I was hoping to receive the costing on our internal selections, so that I could post the details on the blog; however, the Studio M manager sent her apologies a few times in the past week for not providing the costing. Apparently, there are a few items the Estimator is waiting a quote for from their supplier as they did not provide all the items he had requested. So, instead I will report on our electrical consultation in this post.
Our electrical consultation was held on the same day as our internal colour appointment. We met a lovely lady, M, from Vaccaro Group. M was professional and explained to us the basics of the ‘musts to have’ and ‘good to have, but can be done later’, so that we do not stretch our budget very far. We had a budget of 10K to spend, and the variations did not deviate much from that figure. We spent a little over three hours and completed most of our selections at 5 PM when the computer froze! Thanks to the System’s auto save feature (which was actually annoying, as it saved every 5 mins), we did not lose any data. M advised that she would email me us our selections, which then provided us an opportunity to review at leisure. Note Metricon/Vaccaro’s standard policy, which is “Electrical selections and plans are to be finalised and signed off on the same day as your appointment”; so, we were pretty lucky to get some time off to review. We took our electrical plans last week-end to Beacon Lighting to make our actual light selections and sought their advice on many items. I emailed M our amendment requests after reviewing the electrical plans.
OK, now to the actual selection process: As you can see in the picture in this post, the system they use allows us to clearly see the approximate locations of switches, batten holders and other electrical items we ask for. Note that the height of all lights switches is approx. 1050 mm above slab level; all external junction box for future wall lights are 1800 mm AFL (above floor level); all light points above mirror to any bathroom are 2100 mm AFL, while all GPOs (General Purpose Outlet / Socket Outlet), commonly known as power point, are 300 mm AFL. So, if you want at any other height, you would need to specify them.
We love down lights (D/Ls), but were anxious about the prices. Reading from other blogs, I was under the impression that CFL D/Ls lights provided by metricon are about $105 each, and I was wrong. M clarified that halogen D/Ls are $105, 11W CFL D/Ls are $125 and 11W LED D/Ls are $200. When I heard the prices I almost fainted! So, I asked M’s suggestion, and her solution was to get Batten Holders at this stage for $40 each and then get them converted to future D/Ls. A week before our electrical appointment, I enquired with Beacon Lighting on LED D/Ls, and they were having a promotion on LED D/Ls (30% off second light and subsequent ones). So, yesterday we went to Beacon and chose LEDlux 11W 600 Lumen Brushed Chrome D/L Kit that was priced $60 for the first one and $42 for the second light. I also contacted an electrician recommended by Beacon (as we do not have any sparky friends), who charges $30 to install a D/L. So, the approximate cost of having a LED D/L is $40 for the ceiling point (that comes with a batter holder and a bulb) + approx. $50 for LEDlux 11W Led D/L + $30 to install it = $120. We ultimately selected 25 LED D/Ls via Beacon, which is a saving of $2000 ($80 per D/L x 25).
There were a few other items that were ridiculously expensive (eg., metal cover plates that were $15 each, as opposed to about $5 if you were to do it post hand over); so we stuck to the standard ones. All light switches are Classic C2000 style, with the exception of Kitchen and Pantry glass splashback switches and sockets, which are Clipsal Saturn Espresso Black, approx. $140 each; and double power point on kitchen island bench, where we selected Black C2000 style for an additional $10.
For tricky places that required recessing the lights (lights in niches in Entry; lights under Over Head Cupboards in Kitchen; and lights on walls in Stairs), we bit the bullet and purchased lights via Metricon/Vaccarro, so that they can be responsible for installation of those lights.
With the exception of 2 light points (batten holders) in Portico (for future D/Ls), 1 light point in Balcony (for future D/L), 1 wall light point on Garage (for future wall down light) and three batten under eaves (for future double spot lights), we asked for 3 junction boxes for external lighting, at a cost of $75 each.
There are many more items on which I wish to write; and I will continue those in my next post on electrical selections.